Berklee Groups Perform in Salem All Summer

By 
Margot Edwards
April 29, 2010
Annette Philip Group
Ben Powell
Dopapod
Tubby Love
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo by Phil Farnsworth
Photo provided by the artist
Photo by Phil Farnsworth

For the third year in a row, Berklee's top student and alumni groups are heading north to perform free outdoor concerts in historic Salem, Massachusetts, May through August. The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival/Berklee Summer Series at Derby Square, starting May 8, features Annette Philip (jazz/funk/experimental), Tubby Love (experimental/soul/reggae), Nicky Egan (soul/r&b/funk), and Ben Powell (jazz violin). In addition, Berklee act Dopapod (funk, r&b) will be featured on the main stage at the fourth annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival at Salem Willows on August 21.

All concerts are free and open to the public. The series takes place the second Saturday of each month—May through August—from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Derby Square, in front of Old Town Hall, Front Street, Salem. The rain location is in the lobby of the Museum Place Mall off Essex Street. The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is a nonprofit organization that produces free concerts for the public and raises money to support music education programs. For more information, please visit salemjazzsoul.com or call 978 744-8258. 

Salem Jazz and Soul Festival/Berklee Summer Series

May 8—Annette Philip

Annette Philip is an Indian vocalist, composer, arranger, and choir conductor. A believer in the power of collaborative action, she founded Artistes Unlimited in New Delhi. The group is India's largest performing arts ensemble, with a rotating lineup of over 250 artists. A recent Berklee graduate, Philip has shared the stage with artists such as Buster Williams, Victor Lewis, Jack DeJohnette, Shubha Mudgal, and Reggie Hamilton, among others. Her quintet, the Annette Philip Group, explores the music and ideologies of countries, traditions, and cultures from around the globe, drawing from jazz, funk, Latin, Indian, and Middle Eastern influences. Philip also performs with Boston-based vocal group Women of the World and the Makanda Project Big Band.

June 12—Tubby Love

Here to spread the message of purely positive vibrations, Tubby Love is a heady force of futuristic reggae fusion. With songs like "Constant Motion" and "No One's in Control," the message of the music is a clear ear-opening experience for the awakening of the masses. The five-piece Boston-based band—comprised of Berklee students and alumni—has shared the stage with up-and-coming reggae acts such as the Aggrolites, Passafire, and Blue King Brown, and continues to contribute to the rapidly expanding roots reggae music scene. Outwardly expressing their love for experimental music, Tubby Love is at the forefront of what some are calling a "reggae soul revolution."

July 10—Nicky Egan

Nicky Egan is a soul singer who blends the sounds of funk, r&b, and rock. Her influences include Etta James, Janis Joplin, the Beatles, and James Brown, and she drives her performances with memorable songs, energy, and a positive message. Egan founded the Majority, a band that has toured all over the United States, including stints at the famed Whiskey a Go Go and at a fundraiser for Penn State Children's Hospital where they played to a sold out-crowd of 10,000 and helped raise $7 million for the cause. Egan is preparing her debut album, an embracing collection of soul, pop, and r&b, for release later this year.

August 14—Ben Powell

Since being invited to play for trumpeter Randy Brecker at the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival in 2001, violinist Ben Powell has shared the stage with greats such as Herbie Hancock, Gary Burton, Joe Lovano, Gloria Estefan, Paul Simon, Steve Winwood, and Philip Bailey. In 2005, Powell was awarded a scholarship to study at Berklee, where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in jazz composition. While a student, Powell also enjoyed playing in the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. As a soloist, he has given performances all over the world, including San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Houston, and abroad in Italy and Germany. He has also played for first lady Laura Bush and Queen Noor of Jordan.

Berklee at the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival

August 21—Dopapod

Thumping up from basement parties in Boston to bumping the sound systems of major venues all across the East Coast, Dopapod has been steadily growing as a musical tour-de-force. The group formed in 2007 when keyboardist Eli Winderman and guitarist Michelangelo Carubba began jamming, writing, and playing shows. Since its inception, Dopapod has grown from an eclectic organ drum duo to a five-piece funk/jam sensation, adding guitarist Rob Compa, bassist Chuck Jones, and percussionist Neal "Fro" Evans. The group has shared the stage with many great musicians, including Sam Kininger (Soulive, Lettuce), Dave Grippo (Phish, Trey Anastasio), Timo Shanko (G. Love), Dana Colley (Morphine), and more. Dopapod recently released its debut album, Radar, and a tour of the East Coast is in the works.